Yeeeesh. And on top of that no Minkah Fitzpatrick because of COVID and likely no Big Ben due to the same. Although, the Steelers do have until 4 p.m. on Saturday to activate Roethlisberger for Sunday night's game. I can already imagine how annoying and rusty that would be from 7, though.
Being down your best pass rusher, best safety, and probably your best corner against Justin Herbert is definitely not ideal. But I oddly feel good about this game. Not good as in "yeah I think the Steelers will definitely win", but good as in "I feel Coach Tomlin thrives in these situations, will rally the troops, and they will at least have a chance to win late" kind of feel. Hell, we saw what happened when the Steelers went out to LA for Sunday Night Football two years ago with Duck Hodges at quarterback facing off against Phil Rivers. We know it'll be at least half Steelers fans in SoFi Stadium. It could happen.
I always feel better about the Steelers going into a game as the underdog and being doubted rather than last week being a nine point favorite against the Lions. Plus, I look at it this way, and I know Coach T and company would never admit the same, but I'd rather have Watt, Haden, etc, out for this game to get fully healthy than risk missing more time down the stretch. Why? Because you still have four AFC North matchups left. Next week in Cincy, still two left against Baltimore, then the finale at home against Cleveland. Gimme the full, healthy roster for the divisional matchups, and let's take care of those.